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Financial Assistance Now Available for People with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Date:6/27/2011

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Patients and caregivers are encouraged to visit www.oncaspar.com for more information.

About Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL):
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the white lymphoid blood cells, which, when normal, fight infections.  It causes the body to produce abnormal and immature white blood cells that cannot accomplish this purpose.  ALL is the most common form of leukemia found in children, representing 23 percent of cancer diagnoses in children under age 15.  It occurs in one of every 29,000 children in the United States each year.  While ALL is most common in children, people can be diagnosed with ALL at any age and the risk increases after age 45.  Over the past 35 years, the overall five year survival rate for children with ALL has greatly improved, going from less than 5 percent in the 1960s to about 85 percent today.

About Oncaspar® (pegaspargase):
While normal cells can produce asparagine, leukemic cells are unable to produce enough asparagine to survive on their own. L-asparaginase is given to ALL patients to ensure depletion of asparagine that is circulating in the blood.  Depletion (starving the leukemic cells) of asparagine ultimately results in leukemic cell death.

Oncaspar® (pegaspargase) is the only FDA-approved PEGylated formulation of L-asparaginase, the enzyme that depletes the amino acid asparagine.  For the last 25 years, L-asparaginase has been an important component in the treatment of ALL.  Oncaspar® is indicated as a component of a multi-agent chemotherapeutic regimen for the first-line treatment of patients with ALL and for the treatment of patients with ALL and hypersensitivity to native forms of L-asparaginase.

Oncaspar® can be administered through intramuscular (IM) injection or intravenous (IV) infusion.  When utilized as a
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SOURCE Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
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